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Trump’s Grand Tour: Day 7 Vietnam

by | Nov 11, 2017 | Trump Administration

As part of Liberty Nation’s deep dive analysis of President Donald Trump’s tour of Asia, we’ll be examining what events take place, the significance of them, and most importantly, how the media are spinning it.

The APEC summit continues in Vietnam today as leaders and functionaries meet to discuss the direction of trade relations and, to a lesser degree, security. The president has been hard at work having meetings with some of the more contentious world leaders such as Vladimir Putin and Rodrigo Duterte.

People will be watching closely to see if President Duterte of the Philippines and President Trump can get along. Duterte made waves when dealing with former President Obama calling him an SOB and telling him to “go to hell.” To find out what happened during the APEC summit yesterday, you can read all about it here on LN.

The Background

The main topics of trade and security have been discussed; what’s left is each country’s involvement levels. A quorum of nations is looking to reignite the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that the president withdrew from as one of his first official acts. They will have tempered the language somewhat, yet it still remains a pernicious piece of legislation not suitable for a sovereign state.

Donald Trump is hugely popular in Vietnam. He is well-respected and regarded with high-esteem by business leaders, politicians, as well as the “man on the street.”

The Events

Today has seen a swathe of side-meetings and closed room chats between leaders. Most notably, Presidents Trump, Putin, and Duterte sat down together as speculation swirled (more on that later).

The President has shifted from Danang to Hanoi where he will engage with President Trần Đại Quang who heads up the “socialist” nation and hopes to move to a more capital-rich economy with the help of the U.S.

President Trump gave the accompanying reporters quite a ride during the travel time by speaking on subjects such as the U.S and Russian commitment to continue finding common areas of action in dealing with Syria, trade for the U.S., and how an “America First” policy will work regarding trade.

The Expectations

Whilst the American press has just about given up on scooping a “Gotcha!” moment on the president, the world media is taking a little more interest. The president is expected to engage in a range of talks on how to form a closer cooperation with Vietnam in terms of trade.

Pundits suggest that the Vietnamese leadership is looking for help in creating a model economy based on manufacturing that either China or the U.S. can help with, but not both.

The Spin

This has been a big day for tangential stories to cast aspersions on the president. Whilst failing to land any blows at all about his dealings with foreign leaders and the relationships he is fostering, the U.S. media have taken a different tack.

Running high in the news was Senator John McCain criticizing the president for not bringing up human rights issues. Being a former prisoner of war, McCain has an audience for his opinions on a country that has transformed itself entirely since his experience. Vietnam was an enemy then, now they are a partner.

Much noise has been made about President Trump stating that he (for now) will accept Vladimir Putin’s denials of involvement in the 2016 election. The media has chosen to paint this as Trump choosing to believe Putin over his own security agencies. Yet the reality is that scant evidence has been presented so far other than the fact that the Democrats hired Russians to bring down a Trump candidacy.

Behind the Curtain

This is where we will find out if President Trump is as smart an operator as many suspect. China is in the process of moving a large amount of its manufacturing to Vietnam (especially textiles and wood products). But Vietnam wants to take a leap with its economic plans and invest heavily in creating tech jobs and a more international education system.  If the president can play Vietnam against China by bringing their factories into the U.S, he will be able to drum up plenty of American investment.

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Check back in with Liberty Nation tomorrow to get more on this historic Grand Tour.

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